The Turbo arrived today!
I went through all of the presets and many of the Scenes within them, both with headphones on, AND with the unit hooked up to my Fryette 2502 and both Mesa 4x12 cabs. When hooked up to the power amp and cabs, I globally disabled Power Amp and Cabinet modeling, and set my output to +4. I did not edit any of the presets in any way. I just breezed through them. Here are my thoughts so far:
• The cleans I'm looking for are here. Plenty to choose from, actually. Some really pretty, compressed cleans that actually feel really good to play. I can tell I'm going to actually have a hard time choosing. I actually really can't get over how nice these cleans are. This is straight up what I've been looking for this whole time.
• The high gain tones are going to be a bit of work. Lots of them sound bad to my ears, but some are approaching a good starting point. They are all either far too bright, far too dark, or boxy. Lots of them have a harshness to them. I bet the problem is that the power amp and cabinet emulations are disabled. These were all obviously dialed in with the whole package, and I've globally shut off a chunk of that package. So, I think what I'm going to have to do is spend the weekend actually getting in there and seriously tweaking, using Axe Edit. I'll probably pick one that sounds sorta promising, and see what I can do to make it sound good in the room. A funny thing about a lot of the Marshall models - they do actually sound and feel like many stock Marshalls do to me...too bright, too fizzy, too brittle, and just kind of not fun at all to play through. Haha. The rectos and the Splawns seem like they could potentially be a good jumping off point, but I'll have to see what happens when I actually start making adjustments.
• I have to say, this thing feels real to me. It doesn't feel like I'm plugged into a computer. Especially on the clean sounds I found that are like 90% of the way there already. They feel like I'm playing through a really nice clean amp. If I look away, I could easily convince myself this is not a modeler. It's shocking, really.
If you said "Tommy, you have a gig this weekend, get your rig together ASAP," I'd likely throw my Syn-2 into a loop of the Axe, and use the Axe for cleans, and pre / post effects, and the Synergy for high gain tones. It's very possible that may change, once I actually have time to get in and edit some high gain presets.
I have to table the FRFR angle for a bit, since my first and main priority is dialing in my high gain tones that will work through my 2502 and my cabs. That's how I rehearse at home, and when I go to rehearsal studios here in NYC, I simply plug my power amp into a pair of Mesa cabs there in the room. Also, at the venue I play most often, the sound guy greatly prefers to throw a mic on a real cab. It's mission critical I get that right. Once I have my "power amp and cabs" tones all sorted out, at that point I will start messing with adding another out that can go direct to PA or monitors. That will be fun, once I get to that point. I have every single IR pack that York Audio sells, and they sound amazing when I record, so I look forward to experimenting with them here. But, the power amp and cabs are definitely first.